Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Solitary Confinement

I'm currently trying to think of every prison movie I've seen where someone gets sent into solitary confinement and then goes off the deep end. Why? Because I currently spend 97% of my day by myself. Aside from seeing Sebastian over breakfast this morning as he dropped his stuff off and dashed off for work, the most stimulating conversation I had was with the guy at the bank who helped me change my address in their records. Listening him aspirate the letter H whenever he repeated our postcode back to me was (aside from a dip back into season 2 of Grey's Anatomy) the entertainment highlight of my day. Think Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady "In 'artford, 'ereford, and 'ampshire 'urricanes 'ardly hever 'appen."

So I clean and go for runs and run errands and watch movies to distract myself from the fact that this place is quite empty. The music gets turned up extra loud just to make it feel fuller. I know it's not a huge place, but it's a lot of space to have all to myself! Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, seven chairs to sit in at the table, the whole couch to take up. It feels like there ought to be three more people in here. I've become too used to dorm rooms and flats where I live with enough other people that when we all leave it must look like the old clowns-in-a-Volkwagen routine.

All things considered, it's not much to complain about. I have a huge apartment, that - for the time being - is all mine, and in a few weeks, I'll only share with my visiting parents and sister, and then, just with my husband. I can walk around the village and figure out where everything is, or I can go get lost in town with the car. None of these things replace having company, though. I'm becoming one of those people who will stop and have a 20-minute conversation with the milkman just because no one else comes around. To point out: yes, there is a milkman who comes down our street; no, I've never spoken to him; yes, most people who do this are older people who are passed over by life and have to start collecting stray cats to fill the void.

As a tangent from my pathetic loneliness and a public service announcement, I urge everyone with a wooden dining room table to consider just how filthy the surface you're eating off of actually is. I just cleaned and polished our newly acquired table today. I scraped enough dirt and dust from between the planks that I very nearly revisited the apple pie I'd just eaten.

So my latest attempt to feel like I still have a connection to the outside world? A 5-day free trial at the gym down the street. (Yup, I'm a cheapskate.) If I like it enough, I'll join. Then at least I can form one of those 7-word-exchange relationships with the people behind the counter.
Me: Hi.
Gym girl: Hi. Have a good workout!
Me: Thanks!
Hey; it's something.

I'll only worry when I start getting like the first wife in Jane Eyre. Crazy and all alone in the attic...

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